I'm a major vintage shopper. To me, repurposing something that was made with exquisite quality and pure materials is very rewarding. It also limits my impact in consuming products that exploit people and employment practices in other countries that lack simple human rights. Furthermore, it limits my impact on the quantity of possessions I own, and focusses on one or two quality possessions per a category that will last to the end of time.
There was a time when I was incredibly intimidated to shop vintage. Where to start? Who has the time to sift through isles and isles of "junk". But somewhere after inheriting some very precious Le Creusets and silvers from my grandparents, treasured items from their travels around the world, and a few VERY special finds in the oddest places, my confidence was found and I'm forever a convert.
A few of my most frequented spots:
SMALL TOWNS | my hometown, Mariposa, which is in the heart of where the Gold Rush took place has abundantly provided treasure after treasure. This is where I find half of my pieces that include: jewelry, denim, pottery, linens, silver and brass kitchenware, and weavings. So I implore you to investigate small little towns in your neighborhood or on your travels. The rattier the thrift store, usually the better the find for less expensive. The classier the "Antique Store", the more expensive and less finds.
FLEA MARKETS | I personally don't have the patience for these. I've given many solid efforts, paid extra many times for first dibs in the earlier hours. These are much too hectic and overwhelming for me, but I have a plethora of friends that live for these and find the coolest items.
1STDIBS | for a brief moment, I worked with the most inspiring interior designer that I know, Frances Merill, that designed with Commune for years (in such notable projects as ACE Hotel Palm Springs), and she introduced me to 1stdibs - among many other things such as: how to be a successful mom and boss, a powerful woman and founder of a company, unapologetically confidence, and how to work ever minute of the day to make your business come to life. 1stdibs is a magnificent place to turn when you are in search of that perfect vintage leather slouch chair or Eames side table. You also won't be disappointed with the jewelry!
ETSY | It took me ages to order from Etsy for the first time. I was late in the game being that I'm suspicious of everything at first. Now I feel like I'm their biggest customer. I find the coolest pieces on Etsy. And I frequent a couple of specific spots often: MS Jewelers (amazing dainty gold jewelry - you do have to search a bit), Fairseason (for vintage clothes. Just picked up bag above last week from her). And then a lot of random vendors for rugs, blankets, hats, etc!
M•PARKE STUDIO VINTAGE | for hats, dresses, small leather goods, and more!
TAILOR, MENDOR, SIZING, DRY CLEANER | I have been sworn to secrecy (or death) by LA friends that have introduced me to their favorite secret thrift spots. So though I cannot give those away, I DO believe that every thrifter needs a few go-to people: Tailor, Ring Sizer, Shoe Mender, and Dry Cleaner. I love each of mine and use them weekly based on my denim finds, leather repairs, clog repairs, jewelry buys, and dry cleaning. Click on links for my LA magic workers.
Though these aren't revolutionary suggestions, I do hope I inspired a few very timid souls to relove, recycle, and repurpose before buying new - when possible. One last note, or two, on the subject, look for items that are quality: 100% pure cotton, wool, cashmere, etc. Always pick up special ceramics. Never buy anything that says "made in china." And don't be afraid of Levi 550's, a tailor will make them hug your body. Be discerning.